The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has decried illegal sand mining in Tamburawa River in Kano state, urging the state government and the Emirate Council to ban the mining activities.
Fashola made the call in Kano when he visited Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II.
He said continued sand mining at the site would not sustain the Federal Government’s ongoing project of reinstating and protecting the bridge constructed over the river as a result of the earlier exposure of its foundation.
“There was an erosion problem caused by illegal sand mining which had exposed the foundation of the bridge and endangering the entire structure.
“The Federal Government has responded to the problem and in another five months from now, the contractor will complete his work.
“But we need the Kano State Government to assist us in ensuring that the sand mining activities in the river is moved away from the proximity of the bridge.
“If it continues, it will continue to endanger that bridge in spite of our efforts, so I am appealing to you, the government and the people of Kano to help us protect the asset.
“The contractor has recommended that no mining should take place within three kilometres on either sides of the bridge,” he said.
Fashola told the governor and the emir separately that the Federal Government had awarded the rehabilitation of the 360 kilometres Abuja-Kano road to Julius Berger.
He said two contractors; Metropolitan Construction Company and MotherCat had been deployed to provide routine maintenance on the Kano-Zaria section of the road.
The minister said this was to ensure that the road remained passable pending the commencement of the rehabilitation work.
Fashola said he was in the state ahead of the top management retreat of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing holding in the state capital on Friday and Saturday.
In his response, Sanusi commended the minister for the visit and the choice of Kano State as the venue of the retreat.
He applauded the minister for the award of Abuja-Kano road rehabilitation and other ongoing Federal Government projects in the state.
The monarch, however, solicited for more and assured the minister that the emirate council would support the Federal Government to ensure a stop to sand mining in Tamburawa River.
In a related development, the Deputy Governor of Kano State, Prof Hafiz Abubakar, who received the minister, also solicited for more of the Federal Government presence in the state.
Simon Ugwu with Agency report